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  1. #31
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Just one more comment on

    Just one more comment on fuel bladders. Toyota has told me repeatedly that it is "NORMAL" for a rubber fuel bladder to get stiff and ridgid in cold weather.

    Having a bit of experience with aircraft, I can tell you that there are THOUSANDS of aircraft fuel bladders in use that stay loose and hold full capacity at 50 DEGREES BELOW ZERO. It gets VERY cold at 35,000 feet, and fuel tanks in wings are NOT insulated.

    Toyota is just getting cheap and using an inferior rubber in their fuel bladder, then trying to lie to the consumer.

    (Toyota, are you paying attention?)

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  3. #32
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008

    So, I'm hoping that the 2009

    So, I'm hoping that the 2009 will have a "fix" for this problem. How about a heater near the bladder? With some good tech. application by the Toyota engineers this doesn't seem out of reach or possibility, does it?

  4. #33
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    This problem first cropped

    This problem first cropped up in the 2004 model.

    Toyota tried a couple of after-delivery fixes that did not work.

    SOP now is to deny that any problem exists.

  5. #34

    On the warning light: I

    On the warning light:

    I have driven my Prius since January now never having encountered this thread (and always thinking that each square on the tank display represented approximately 1 gallon or a conservative 35-40 miles)...

    Recently I got to the tank warning stage and drove about 25-20 miles (with the blinking square) before I filled the tank with 1.2 gallons. All I had was a five dollar bill. To my surprise, the light remained on when restarted the car. So with nearly 2 gallons of gas left the light was still blinking, even though it only started blinking with a gallon left.

    My conclusion: It's a guessing game, no worse than interpreting the red low fuel section of any other car's gauge. I subscribe to the posting above where one simply keeps track of what you know -- how much you put in times a conservative mpg estimate. And all will be fine.

  6. #35

    My first real experience

    My first real experience with the Prius came about over the week-end when I rented a 2008 and drove it from Friday until turn in today (Tuesday). I read this thread with interest because we drove 402 miles and I refilled ( ?) the tank with 8.6 gallons which was the auto click off at the nozzle + I rounded it off to the next dollar amount as is my custom. If you do the math to calcuate fuel economy that is ~ 46.75 mpg BUT the screen that shows the running average said 51.3 mpg at fill up. Based on my interpretation of the information here I should more readily believe the 51.3 the car said it achieved rather than my calculations of nearly 47 mpg. I intend to get on the waiting list that is surely there for one of these. What is the consensus of opinion about waiting for the 2009 verses buying a 2008 soon ? I did not know the tank is a bladder...oh the fuel gage just went from 3 bars to 2 just a few miles prior to fill up.

  7. #36

    Targettuning, the 2009

    the 2009 prius had some minor upgrades and redesign of the front face of the car, supposedly sportier. Check out 2009 Prius on "Road and Track" magazine online for specs. The specs are better , slightly bigger car, more electric power, better fuel mpg.

    The fuel gauge is annoying. I'm studying design and the fuel gauge is designed poorly as well. It should measure how much fuel not how much in relation to the size of the bladder. The incremental digital display is ridiculous since your fuel does not lessen by one bar but by a continuous flow. They ought to have one continuous bar that decreases as fuel decreases so it is more accurate like the analog fuel gauge.

  8. #37

    I currently has a

    I currently has a love/frightened of relationship with my Prius. I could have only seven gallons of gas, the tank shows full ... so I think I can drive further than I really would be able to. I cannot rely on my gas tank, I have to take unsafe steps to fill it up completely, I have a gas guage that is basically useless and need to guess when I have to fill up!

    It appears that Toyota is continuning to manufacture a defective, unsafe product with FULL knowledge of the issue!!! It is unsafe to 1) have to guess how much gas you may have and 2) to go to extreme measures to assure a full gas tank.

    I am writing to share my concern over my 2008 Toyota Prius that I purchased new in January of 2008. I recently returned from a 2300 mile road trip that began in Woodland Washington (20 miles north of Portland Oregon).

    During this trip, we stopped in Ashland Oregon to fill up the gas tank on our way to Reno Nevada. The attendant filled the tank (Oregon requires that an attendant do this) and off we went ... next gas fill up was to have been Reno! We headed east, turned off Interstate 5 and onto Highway 89 and switched drivers. After ONLY 83 miles ... the gas tank showed that there was less than 1/2 a tank ... luckily we had not missed McCloud California ... last stop for gas for MANY miles!

    When we filled up in Reno, the gas pump shut off WAY TOO soon ... we certainly were not getting over 60mpg! Understanding this, we pulled the gas nozzle WAY out and EXTREMELY slowly managed to fill up the gas tank. During this SLOW process, air and gas would bubble up and at times out of the tank. We repeated this process at EVERY fill up along the trip and since we have gotten home. We can have to add between 3 - 6 gallons of gas after the pump shuts off ... no matter how slowly the gas is automatically pumped in. Temperature, time of day and altitude seem to not have any effect on getting the tank filled ... the pump shut off early at EVERY instance. There are at least two safety issues noted here ... a gas tank you cannot fill up with taking EXTROADINARY measures ... nearly removing the nozzle and having gas spill out as the air and gas fumes escape out of the tank.

    Another issue is the fuel gauge. The car would travel 200 miles before even one guage indicator would click off. There are 10 indicators and the tank suposedly holds nealy 12 gallons of gas. I bet that the car does not get 200 miles per gallon!!!

    I spoke the owner of a 2005 Prius. He indicated he also has challenges filling his tank. He was told that this has to do with the ambient temperature. I have talked with a Toyota Prius technician. He stated that there are no parts that can fix this issue. He noted that this has been going on since the first Prius, that there is no fix available. He also noted in the winter that at least one Prius owner comes in each and every day with this same gas tank concern. I also did some research on the internet and this appears to be a LONG outstanding safety hazard!

    More than two cents worth ... but who would have thought Toyota would do this??? I bought this for LONG road trip car, to be reliable and dependable ... not the case ... :-(

  9. #38

    OK, folks, I've

    OK, folks, I've unintentionally done one long careful lab experiment with my 2008 Prius, and the low fuel warning indicator is wildly inconsistent and is clearly a safety defect. And Toyota denies ever having any complaint about this. I'm a former rabid fan of the Prius and by extension Toyota, but now I'm outraged, and I'm going to make some serious noise about this.

    Driving on interstate late at night the last pip started blinking and the low fuel warning beep sounded. Fine, I'd driven the car several times with the low fuel warning flashing, over 40 miles on a couple of occasions. I had read the manual that said it has "approximately 3 gallons . . . or less" when the low fuel warning flashes. (I hadn't noticed that "or less" tag line until I went back and re-read the manual after this all happened.) I was being conservative and careful by assuming that rather than having 3 gallons of fuel left I would have only 1 1/2. Well, right at 5 miles after the warning, I ran out of gas. Not good, not a good place, etc. Temperature 76 degrees. MPG on the tank read 41.3 (had been driving in a headwind), had driven 427 miles when it ran out.

    What is much worse than having no low fuel alarm at all? Having a low fuel alarm that works MOST of the time (and fails miserably the OTHER times). It's a pure sucker punch - it draws you in, and then can fail at truly unsafe times.

    I've looked around on the blogs and see that this has happened to lots and lots of people, in dangerous and bad situations, too.

    OK, so let me at least give everyone a really clear warning: don't ever drive your Prius down to having the last bar blinking. In fact, from the experiences I'm reading, I'd say don't ever drive it down to just one bar.

    Toyota not only denies ever getting complaints about this; their customer service person told me that when three bars are showing you have 1 1/2 gallons left (?!), and that the car is designed to run out of gas as soon as you're down to the last bar (?!). I pointedly asked, repeatedly, how much gas is left when the last bar is flashing? After "researching" and "looking at the owner's manual" which the representative said "is very different from yours" the rep said "three gallons". Why do we waste our time listening to this lying and stonewalling? Where is NHTSA and mandatory recall? Why doesn't Toyota do at least the bare minimal thing and send clear notices to all Prius owners that the low fuel indicator is quite inconsistent and absolutely can't be trusted, so never operate the vehicle below two bars? (Uh, gee, duh, I guess it could possibly be about money for them, huh.)

  10. #39

    Please REPORT your issues!!!

    Please REPORT your issues!!!

    When you report to Toyota Corporate, BBB, your State's Attorney General's Office, NHTSA ... you will get a case or report number!!!

    It seems most Prius owners are putting up with the "bladder" explaination and just living with the uncertainly of running out of gas or not ...

    I have also kept note of the websites where Prius owners are talking about this safety issue, to share with Toyota Corporate when I call them on Monday ... I have a complaint case number and the DID call me back.

    If this would have been a SERVRAL year issue with brakes, do you think it would be still going on? Start as soon as you con ... contact ... Toyota Corporate, BBB, your State's Attorney General's Office, NHTSA ... somthing WILL have to be done!!!

  11. #40

    I have just read several

    I have just read several stories of concern on: http://www.consumeraffairs.com/autom...ota_prius.html. There are MANY other websites that speak to Prius problems: http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news0...us_winter.html - http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.f1205be - http://www.hybridcars.com/forums/200...-capacity.html - http://priuschat.com/forums/prius-ma...fuel-tank.html - http://www.greenhybrid.com/discuss/f...as-prius-1611/ - these are just the ones I have stumbled across.

    I am SICK to my stomach. I have TRUSTED Toyota for YEARS to provide a SAFE and RELIABLE vehicle. I traded in my 2007 Toyota Touring Avalon on my 2008 Toyota Prius ... NEVER even giving ONE thought that I was buying an UNSAFE and HAZARDOUS car. (Boy do I ever wish I still had the Avalon ...)

    I have personally experienced the FAULTY gas tank design, fuel gauge that is ONLY at best a GUESS gauge, gas and air bubbling out when you TRY to fill the tank and the sheer fright of WONDERING if you are going to run out of gas when your tank shows a few bars left on the gauge.

    Now, I am TOTALLY DISGUSTED to have discovered that my car very well may QUIT functioning in snow or slick conditions!!! I live where snow happens rarely, but rain happens ALL the time! I do drive in snow conditions often ... luckly is seems, not yet in this HAZARDOUS car.

    I was SOOOO very EXCITED to take my new Prius on our recent road trip!!! Now I am nearly in tears realizing that I am driving, "literally" ... AN ACCIDENT WAITING TO HAPPEN ...

    Luckily, as of today, there has not been any physical damage. Unfortunately, emotional damage and loss of faith in Toyota has happened.

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